GERMANY, Oct 14 – A United Nations medical worker who was infected with Ebola while working in Liberia has died in Germany. His death further raises questions of just how equipped health officials are in dealing with the disease. The 56-year-old man was Sudanese, a spokesman for the St. Georg hospital in Leipzig said Tuesday. He was being treated in a secure isolation ward there. And the clinic said last week that its doctors and medical staff were “perfectly prepared” for the task.
After the man’s death, Germany is treating only one other Ebola patient, said St. Georg hospital spokesman Constantin Sauff. The other patient is being treated in Frankfurt, he said. Another patient who was being treated in Hamburg has been discharged from a hospital after recovering, Sauff said. A Spanish nurse’s assistant last week became the first person to contract the virus in Europe in the current outbreak.
And a nurse in Dallas was confirmed as the first to have contracted the virus in the United States. The nurse, Nina Pham, had cared for Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who contracted Ebola in Liberia and died of the illness at a hospital. Liberia is one of the countries worst affected by the deadly virus, along with Sierra Leone and Guinea. The World Health Organization estimates more than 4,000 people have died from confirmed or suspected cases of the virus.
Spanish nurse’s assistant Teresa Romero is producing antibodies to fight Ebola, a source at the Carlos III Hospital where she is being treated told CNN on Tuesday. Authorities said Monday that she remained in critical condition and was having trouble breathing. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said the Madrid hospital doesn’t meet all the standards set for centers capable of Ebola care.
In a scathing letter distributed Monday, Javier Limon, Romero’s husband, said she received only 30 minutes of training in putting on protective gear and called for the resignation of Madrid’s regional health minister over how the case has been handled. Romero helped care for two Spanish missionaries who were brought back to Madrid for treatment after being infected with the virus in West Africa. Both men died of the illness.
A spokesman for a special committee created in Spain to keep people informed about Ebola told CNN that Spain will have a contagious diseases reference center in each of its regions. Police, firefighters and ambulance personnel, as well as hospital staff, will be trained to deal with Ebola cases.